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Intel, John McAfee settle lawsuits over antivirus pioneer's name

Computer software pioneer John McAfee speaks with reporters outside his hotel in Miami Beach, Florida Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters New York 6 July 2017 Jul 06, 2017, 06.07 AM (IST)

John McAfee, the creator of eponymous antivirus computer software, has settled a lawsuit against Intel over his right to use his name on other projects after the chipmaker bought his former company.

US District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan dismissed McAfee's September 2016 lawsuit and a countersuit by Intel five days after a settlement agreement was signed.

McAfee said he sued after Intel warned him that using his name, including by renaming his digital gaming and cyber security company MGT Capital Investments as "John McAfee Global Technologies," would infringe its trademarks.

Intel countered by accusing McAfee of trademark infringement and unfair competition and sought unspecified damages.

Under the settlement, McAfee agreed not to use his name, trademark his name or the phrase "John McAfee Privacy Phone," or use "John McAfee Global Technologies" in connection with cyber security and security related products and services.

He retained the right in other contexts to use his name in advertising, promotions, and presentations, including with regard to his role at McAfee Associates, which he sold to Intel for $7.7 billion in 2010.

Neither McAfee nor Intel admitted wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which was amicable, according to court papers.

McAfee's lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Intel said the Santa Clara, California-based company was pleased to settle.

Intel spun off its cybersecurity division, now called McAfee LLC, in April, after agreeing to sell a 51 per cent stake to private investment firm TPG Capital. TPG later accepted a minority investment in the business from private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

Intel retained a 49 per cent stake in McAfee, which the spinoff valued at $4.2 billion including debt.

John McAfee unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party's nomination for the US presidency last year.

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